Important Tech News of the Day Dec 14, 2012

Amazon Prime Instant Video app for iOS is out and in my testing on a 4th generation iPad it worked well. Some complaints remain that for non-Prime users the experience isn’t that great. I for one would like to be able to download video on the app – there is a download area but no instructions as to what is downloadable or how to download.

Alcatel Lucent says providing video to devices is a great new revenue opportunity for carriers. According to Marcus Weldon, chief technology officer, “Left unmanaged, the rapid growth in video traffic can turn into a deluge and spell disaster. It is important to look at where service providers’ investments can have the most impact, and this research makes clear that the IP edge of both wireline and wireless networks – which are increasingly becoming one and the same – offers the greatest opportunity to improve network performance.”

It is undeniable that video streaming will grow in popularity – the war between cable providers and companies working with Roku, Apple TV, Google and others will only continue with the goal being to keep the viewer watching as much content as possible on your service(s).

Google Just Settled a Six-Year Dispute with Belgian Publishers and must pay them for their legal fees and in the form of advertising in the newspapers whose content was used by the search giant. Some say the settlement totals $6M. Moreover, there will be an ongoing advertising partnership between the news outlets and Google. The challenge for the search leader who profits handsomely from content on the web is if this case could set a precedent allowing many other companies to sue for damages because their content too is being used without permission.

IT spending will pick up in 2013 which is great news for the tech market which has had to deal with numerous ups and downs since the dotcom bubble burst over a decade ago. Gartner recently noted that “most enterprises have already significantly cut discretionary IT spending growth over the past several years,” and that “they have little room to reduce IT spending further over the long run.”

Mobile data growth is booming and has seen a compound annual growth rate of 25.4% between 2006 and 2011. Interestingly only in United States, Japan and Australia does mobile data revenue exceed fixed broadband revenues. No surprise here but voice revenue is declining in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2011 according to Ofcom.

Apple lost patent litigation to MobileMedia and this is the danger of the patent wars – even if you were smart enough to invent lots of cool new ideas, there will always be some people somewhere who thought of some things before you did. This is why the tech patent wars may on the surface seem like a smart way for a company to protect their intellectual property but in reality, when defending your inventions in every country you are bound to lose sometimes.

All of this litigation hurts consumers at the end of the day.

Of course I am referring primarily to Apple and Samsung, in the case of MobileMedia, they are a patent troll (but owned by Nokia, Sony and MPEG LA) so there isn’t much of a defense when you lose. Moreover, you are generally a sitting duck, waiting for these companies to come after you. Especially when you become successful in the market.

Easilydo is an app which aims to become a personal assistant of sorts by managing friend’s birthdays, your schedule and more. It offers you time to leave alerts based on your schedule, can track packages and more. It can notify you of based weather the night before and can jump into conference calls for you three minutes before they start. I just downloaded it on iOS and will post further if it is as great as it seems. I set it to remind me of free songs to download each week and to remind me once-a-month which apps are accessing my personal info.

There are some good apps to help manage your holiday shopping and TMC’s Brooke Neuman details them for you. Gilte Groupe and others make the list.

A win for the free market in the EU as Apple and four other publishers have made an offer to ease price restrictions against Amazon in the book market as a response to an anti-trust investigation.

There’s an app to measure skin health – just take well-lit picturesown.JPG of yourself and receive a personal beauty number which the company, Own says is 95% accurate.

Social is playing a major role in news dissemination in tragedies as the dreadful Newtown Sandy Hook, CT Elementary School shootings remind us. Trending topics on Twitter include #Connecticut, #Newtown, #PrayForNewtown, 27 Dead and Sandy Hook.

Sprint’s Clearwire bid will help it deliver true unlimited and unthrottled data plans, especially to its iPhone customers according to TMC’s Senior Editor, Tony Rizzo.

Small business hopes for better 2013 but don’t expect them to hire more according to a study by IP communications, data and cloud provider Cbeyond. Other important parts from the survery: 83 percent of cloud users said it made them “more flexible,” 78 percent said it made them “more productive,” and 71 percent said it was actually saving them money to use the cloud that they wouldn’t have saved without.

Cities are cutting out ISPs to get high-speed networks to their citizens and Seattle is the latest city to do so.

We are actively trading privacy for security in the US and terrorism has definitely eroded many of our freedoms. A sense that citizens are presumed innocent seems to be slowly eroding.

But at least the government wants to make it tougher for apps to share our private location data. A new bill would require companies to get a customer’s consent before collecting or sharing mobile location data. It would also ban mobile applications that secretly monitor the user’s location — a feature that Senator Al Franken said allows for stalking and enables domestic violence.

Comcast now allows video downloads – this may mark the first time a cable company is doing so and is a great help to people who don’t always have fast and cheap broadband access. Airline passengers are an obvious beneficiary.

Social media has destroyed the web – it’s brought in hundreds ofchina-soldiers.jpg millions of new users but has locked us in, taken over our online identities and made it more difficult to share our information from one service to the next.

If mobile payments are booming why is Verifone telling us it is an unprofitable market? Moreover, why is it pulling out?

China will be less restrictive with their Internet censorship and has already ublocked searches for the names of many top political leaders in a possible sign of looser controls a month after new senior officials were named to head the ruling party.

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